Press Releases | October 2, 2017

The Mind Trust launches nationwide search for fifth class of education innovators to lead Innovation Schools

Indianapolis – The Mind Trust now is accepting applications for its fifth class of Innovation School Fellows, exceptional leaders and operators who will design and launch Innovation Network Schools in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).  The Innovation School Fellowship is the result of the partnership among The Mind Trust, IPS, and The Indianapolis Mayor’s Office and provides a pipeline of talented educators and innovative school models to IPS.  Since its launch in 2014, this partnership has created seven brand new Innovation Schools and converted three existing schools into Innovation Schools, fueling the growth of IPS’ Innovation Network to 16 schools with another six schools under development.

“Just two years after the first Innovation Schools opened, Innovation School Fellows are already leading promising improvements in student achievement, school culture, and parental involvement,” says David Harris, Founder and CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are excited to begin our search for our fifth cohort of Fellows, who will join this unprecedented partnership’s effort to ensure that every child in Indianapolis receives an excellent education.”

Innovation Schools combine the flexibilities and accountability of charter schools with the resources and services of a large school district.  The schools have full operational autonomy and are exempt from most district practices and regulations, though they remain IPS schools overseen and held accountable by the IPS Board of Commissioners.

Innovation School Fellows have the opportunity to launch their schools in new facilities or underutilized IPS facilities or can be selected to restart underperforming IPS schools as Innovation Schools. Several Innovation Schools are also charter schools.

Potential applicants. The Mind Trust seeks the highest caliber of applicants from Indianapolis and around the country, including proven school leaders and teachers, successful school district and network leaders, social entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers, and other professionals who have run successful organizations.

Selection.  After completing significant due-diligence, The Mind Trust, IPS, and the Mayor’s Office call upon a distinguished panel of local and national education and community leaders to review applications and interview finalist candidates. The chosen Fellows then are approved by The Mind Trust’s Board of Directors.  Midway through the Fellowship, Fellows will present their Innovation School model to the IPS Board of Commissioners for final approval, which will determine whether the school will become part of the IPS Innovation Network and, if applicable, the location of the school within Indianapolis. Fellows may also apply for charter authorization through The Mayor’s Office.

Fellowship supports.  Fellows receive up to a $100,000 salary, healthcare and benefits for one or two years as they develop and launch their school.  Further, they access leadership development opportunities, collaboration opportunities with cohort members, individualized supports and development, world-class advisors and experts in school design and opportunities to visit high-performing schools across the country.

Application and selection timeline.

Today Statement of Intent available online. (Statements are accepted on a rolling basis, with select applicants invited to submit a full application.)
January 7, 2018 Final deadline for Statement of Intent
February 4, 2018  Full application deadline
Late Feb. 2017 Preliminary interviews with The Mind Trust
Mid-March  Selection Committee Final Interviews
Late-March 5th cohort Fellowship Awards Announced


All application materials may be found at

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is a nonprofit striving to give every Indianapolis student access to a high-quality, world-class education. We do this by recruiting and developing talented, innovative educators, launching high quality schools with the conditions for success and engaging neighborhoods and communities to help lead education innovation.
Since 2006, The Mind Trust has attracted and placed more than 1000 teachers and school leaders, supported or launched 17 schools, awarded 25 fellowships to education innovators, and raised more than $73 million to bring innovative ideas into Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at